By: Vivek J
July 6 2023
This video is not related to the ongoing violence in India’s Manipur. It is from Syria’s Golan Heights region protests in June 2023.
Manipur has witnessed clashes between the ethnic Meitei and Kuki communities since May 2023. Even after two months, incidents of violence are being reported, with several buildings torched, over 130 people dead, and over 40,000 displaced, according to an India Today report dated as of July 3. The series of violent clashes have resulted in several pieces of misinformation being shared on social media platforms with unrelated images and videos claiming to be from Manipur.
One such video shared on Twitter has garnered over 28,000 views and claims to show Manipuri tribals fleeing into the forest as a result of attacks by the “Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-backed militant groups” in the state. When translated to English, the caption of the video reads, “#Manipur Pro-BJP militants again heavily bombarded tribal areas Tribals fled to the jungles to save their lives.” The same video was also shared on Facebook with similar narratives. Archives of such posts can be seen here, here and here.
However, this video is unrelated to the recent incidents of violence in Manipur.
On conducting a reverse image search of some keyframes from this video, we found a report on an Arabic news website named “Al-Jarmaq News” on June 22. This news report contained the same image seen in the viral video. The news report was about clashes between farmers in the Golan Heights area and the Israeli forces.
We conducted multiple keyword searches and looked for video reports on the incident in the Israeli-administered Golan Heights over the construction of wind turbines, as reported by Al-Jarmaq. Israel annexed parts of the Golan Heights from Syria during the six-day war in 1967. We also found multiple news reports, including videos of the incident reported between June 21 and 22 this year.
A news report uploaded on YouTube on June 21 about the clashes at Golan Heights by Turkey-based Orient TV, contained the same visuals. The caption of this YouTube video read, “For the second day in a row, the Israeli occupation forces attacked the people of the Hafayer area in the occupied Syrian Golan because of a protest they organized to prevent the construction of electricity generating units (wind power fans) on their lands.”
Another report by Sky News Arabia, dated June 21 on YouTube contained the same visuals and claimed that the people in the video were Syrian farmers.
The clashes between the Israeli security forces and the farmers from the Druze community in the Golan Heights erupted after farmers accused a wind turbine installation company of using their land to install turbines without proper consent from the farmers, reported Arab News. Similar reports on these clashes were published by Reuters and AP News.
The video claiming to be Manipuri tribals fleeing into the forest after being attacked by militants is not related to the violence in the state. This video is from the contested region of Golan Heights bordering Israel and Syria, where protests took place over the installation of some wind turbines. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.